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Cough variant asthma

(22 Posts)
Brendawymms Thu 13-Sep-18 22:24:16

I’ve just been diagnosed with cough variant asthma with a lung capacity of 62%. I’ve suspected for some time I had asthma but only just found out that a previous asthma test had been Boulder line.
Now it’s official I feel quite ill and I just want to stop being able to cope.im 70 by the way.
I’ve always coped when Ill, as most of us do but this time I feel quite shell shocked.
I have two types of puffers, one of which I’m struggling with. It’s an Easi-breath inhaler and it’s anything but easy. I have even ended up with a puff in the eye!
I am hoping for some reassurance I think that eventually the puffers will work and I will be ok.

Marydoll Thu 13-Sep-18 22:44:34

I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis, it must have been a shock. We can all feel vulnerable with a diagnosis like that and asthma attacks are really terrifying.
If you are struggling to use your inhaler properly, then you are not getting the medication you need to control your condition.
My best advice is to make an appointment with your surgery's asthma nurse, who will be able to support you. That is part of her job!

I nearly died over forty years ago, when I developed late onset asthma and it was erroneously diagnosed as stress related, due to my final exams!
I was in intensive care for six weeks, and had just I had got married. My husband was told to " expect the worst".
I have brittle asthma and take three inhalers, but I'm still here, more than forty years later. There have been many flare ups, but despite my condition and another lung condition, I'm determined it won't beat me.😁

Inhalers do help, but they need to be taken consistently. There are lots of new inhalers available, which do a much better job than the ones I was prescribed away back in the old days!

Please phone your surgery tomorrow and explain how you are struggling. Inhalers take time to work, so don't expect miracles immediately.

There are lots of Gransnetter coping with lung conditions and I know we all will rally round to support you.
Please seek help ASAP, the sooner the better.

Please take care of yourself, you are not alone.
💐

grannyqueenie Thu 13-Sep-18 23:15:19

I feel for you,* brenda* reading your post and then googling the term, it seems that’s what I have- although no one has called it that. My mother had COPD which really limited her quality of life and probably shortened it too. Over 10 years ago now, after a few years of a persistent cough and not feeling “right” I eventually went to my GP. I tried to explain I was worried as I felt I was becoming like my mum had been. She had been a long term heavy smoker, I’ve never smoked but did grow up in a smoking household - I really had to persist to be taken seriously. A spirometer test showed asthma. I’ve had several inhalers, they’ve been changed over the years as my symptoms have altered and I still do not present as a “typical” asthma patient. Currently it’s all well controlled and I’m able to do most things I want to. But I’m always aware of changes due to the seasons or the environment. Forging a good relationship with your GP or asthma nurse will really help, as one size certainly doesn’t fit all and it’s really important that you are listened to.

I’m telling you this to encourage you to go back and explain the problems that you are having. Asthma can be well controlled these days, but everyone is different and it’s really important to find the medication that works best for you. Good luck with it all.

Marydoll Thu 13-Sep-18 23:41:58

grannyqueenie, I too grew up in a smoking household and my father had COPD.
I had been going to my GP for two years with a hacking cough, when he eventually referred me to hospital, where they said it was " nerves".
I became so I'll, I was referred to a major teaching hospital in Glasgow. I went to the respiratory clinic for tests, a week later when I went back, they immediately admitted me. The docs would not believe that I wasn't a smoker.☹️

You are correct in saying, once size does not fit all and to form a good relationship with your GP and asthma nurse.
Brenda, please go and ask for support.
Sometimes you have to change inhalers until you find one which suits you.

I hope you notice an improvement soon.

Liz46 Fri 14-Sep-18 06:21:20

My asthma nurse told me about the easyhaler and advised I give it a try. I prefer it to the Ventolin. If you are having problems, your pharmacist can also help with technique. I find it difficult to understand how you managed to get it into your eye!

I have bronchiectasis as well as asthma (slight lung damage probably caused by having bronchitis and pneumonia). This was diagnosed by CT scan.

Marydoll Fri 14-Sep-18 06:41:29

Brenda, perhaps this will help. It shows you how to take your inhaler.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf-yHFEq8lU

I'm so wheezy this morning! Do you believe in auto suggestion. grin

DoraMarr Fri 14-Sep-18 06:49:41

As everyone else has said, you need to go back to your asthma nurse and have a chat with her. It can be a shock to be told you have a condition like asthma which means you will have to take medication for the rest of your life, but once you get into a routine you won’t look back. You will sleep better, you will feel more energetic during the day, you will walk further, faster and easier- take it from me! You may find a spacer will help you get the right dose: it’s a sort of plastic chamber that collects the inhalant so you can breathe it in in a series of puffs rather than just one or two. I have one for those times I feel a bit breathless. I have two inhalers but hardly ever need the reliever one now because my asthma is so well controlled. Don’t worry, and don’t feel this is the end- there are lots of us out here!

crazyH Fri 14-Sep-18 20:24:05

I was diagnosed with Bronchiectasis 10 years ago....I am still here....I was really religious about using my Acapella every morning to clear the mucous, which is the real bxxxxr in this disease. I also went for a 1/2 hour to 45mins walk daily. But I have slacked due to other emotional problems. I lost focus. And stress can add to the situation. Due to the chronic productive cough (a dry cough is tolerable) , I am embarrassed to be in company. Don't get me wrong, I have good days, and glad to be alive.
If managed well, Bronchiectasis is not that bad a condition. There are worse things you can have.

agnurse Fri 14-Sep-18 21:00:40

Definitely go back to your asthma nurse. It's VITALLY important that you take your inhaler properly as otherwise it won't help you. If asthma is poorly controlled over a long period of time, permanent airway remodelling can occur and it's much harder to control.

Late onset asthma is more common in women. Boys tend to start showing asthma in childhood, but with women it tends to occur later on average.

BlackeyedSusan Fri 14-Sep-18 23:02:00

they prescribe spacers for adults too. ask for one of those. (plastic tube with valves)

I can completely understand that it is possible to get an inhaler in the eye.

Situpstraight1 Sat 15-Sep-18 06:51:41

I was diagnosed with this last year, I’m 66!

As the others have said, go to your Asthma Nurse, get a spacer and take the preventative inhaler regularly, it took me about 6 weeks to get over the first ‘exacerbation’ as they called it, using the preventative and the reliever inhaler.

I also use a peak flow meter every morning, just to make sure that I’m ok, if it starts to fall over the course of (only) 2 days, I’m told to make an urgent appointment with the nurse or call 999.

I’ve had 3 ‘exacerbations’ since then and it’s pretty scary how quickly you can go downhill, but please get the spacer and get the correct dose of your preventative, it gets you back to normal.
There is an Asthma Forum that is pretty helpful, you can post questions on there too and an Asthma Nurse can also be contacted on site.
Don’t give up, you’ll get there!

GrannyGravy13 Sat 15-Sep-18 11:48:15

I agree with all the other posters, I have had severe asthma diagnosed at 6years old, Docs were forever saying that I would grow out of it. Unfortunately I haven't.

Sometimes the asthma nurses are far better than GP's at sorting out medications as they have more time to listen to you.

I take my inhalers and medication religiously, but still end up on a high dose of steroids at least once a year. Mine is brought on by nerves and also I have a severe allergy to dogs, so I am always prepared with antihistamines in my bag and have "emergency" steroids (prednisolone) at home.

stella1949 Sat 15-Sep-18 12:32:47

Get a spacer asap. I know they are promoted for children, but they are great for adults as well. I use a spacer with my puffers and I get a really good result. Best wishes.

BonnieBlooming Sat 15-Sep-18 13:09:19

I agree about the spacer. It wasn't until I started having yearly check ups with our practice asthma nurse that it was recommended to me. I have 2 types of inhaler as well - preventative and reliever. Since using the preventative one with the spacer I rarely even need the reliever. I used to panic if I left the house without my reliever but I dont even think about it now. If you use the preventative as prescribed with the spacer to help get it deep into your lungs you should see a difference. I have had asthma since I was 13 and feel its really well controlled now. Good luck.

Marydoll Sat 15-Sep-18 13:38:58

My 2 year old DGD uses a spacer without any difficulty, so if she can use one, anyone can. We just play " Follow my leader". I use it, she uses it.
I forgot to say, I also have had a nebuliser at home for forty years, to use in a severe attack, it has saved me going to hospital many times.

GrannyGravy13 Sat 15-Sep-18 13:39:02

I think spacers are a really good idea. Unfortunately y preventer is of the new generation relievers and cannot be used with a spacer

Marydoll Sat 15-Sep-18 13:40:36

Yes, mine too. I'm on the highest dose of Relvar Ellipta. What a difference it has made. smile

Harris27 Sat 15-Sep-18 15:47:03

I take my serotide ( steroid inhaler) through a blue tube spacer like thing! And blue inhaler as I need it. I went through hell in my thirties and didn't think I'd be here never mind still working at 58! I work with children and sometimes need to keep a blue inhaler in my pocket especially in the winter. Speak to your asthma nurse and keep trying with it life is special and yours is worth having.x

annep Sun 16-Sep-18 23:09:17

Brenda I know little about this illness but I'm sure it was an awful shock for you. I hope some of this advice helps you. Sounds like going back to your gp is the thing to do. wishing you well.x

Marydoll Mon 17-Sep-18 06:56:35

Brenda, you haven't come back to the thread after your initial post, I hope you are not unwell.

Brendawymms Mon 17-Sep-18 17:59:04

Well thanks to all who have commented all very helpful. I’m struggling at the moment which annoys me considerably. Before I started my asthma treatment I had a very annoying dry cough but now I have a very phlegm type cough although it’s all clear phlegm. I’m told it proves that the inhalers are working. I’m feeling quite exhausted. I have been in tough with Asthma Uk and they have been informative.

I have an appointment for next Monday with the Asthma nurse. I have got the Easi inhaler working correctly on the reliever and a spacer for the preventative so I’m following everyone’s advice.

Thanks again.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 17-Sep-18 18:01:32

Marydoll I am on Relvar high dose also, what a difference it has made.